Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are one of the most popular teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They have had some renowned names in their squad over the years like Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and Chris Gayle but they have not been able to lay their hand on the silverware. The team have had many big-profile players over the years. There have been many players who have not been able to match the high standards set by Virat Kohli, ABD and Chris Gayle.
Lack of quality bowlers and all-rounders has continuously plagued this extremely popular team. They came closest to lifting the IPL in 2016, where Virat Kohli broke all records with the bat and scored four centuries. They have managed to acquire a fan base that has stood by them irrespective of their team’s performances. Watching games involving RCB can be extremely riveting as always games would go down to the wire with them not being able to finish off games.
A batsman and captain like Virat Kohli deserves to get his name on the IPL silverware. He has been the defining face of this decade across formats and it’s only fair that he should have won the IPL- something that has dented his image quiet a bit. His ability or the lack of it to win a tournament that features the best talents from across the globe will stay with him this decade.
There have been some really fantastic, world-class talents that have represented the RCB franchise under Virat Kohli’s leadership. Coaches changed, players changed and team management have changed over the years
Here’s we take a look at the best RCB XI of the decade gone by:
1. Chris Gayle
The Jamaican superstar Chris Gayle came in as an injury replacement for Dirk Nannes mid-way into the 2011 edition of the IPL, and thus kick-started an association with the franchise that saw the West Indian rise to new heights in the T20 format.
For three consecutive seasons, i.e. 2011, 2012 and 2013, Gayle amassed more than 600 runs (608, 733 and 708) that included four swashbuckling hundreds, none better than the 175 not out, which he compiled against the Pune Warriors India in 2013.
In all, Gayle amassed 3163 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 85 matches at an impressive strike rate of 151.20. After RCB decided not to retain him in IPL 2018 auctions, Gayle was racked up by KXIP at his base price. He hammered two tons for the new franchise, one against former teammates RCB. The next season could well be ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle’s last in the IPL so it sure would be extra special for his fans all the fans of IPL worldwide.
2. KL Rahul
KL Rahul found his mojo during the stint at RCB. While Rahul missed the 2017 season due to injury, his most productive outing came in 2016, where he scored 397 runs at a strike-rate of 146.89 including four fifties.
Rahul was bought by Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 IPL Auctions after RCB decided not to retain the Karnataka batsman. The decision came back to bite Kohli’s men as Rahul had a stupendous year for KXIP. He finished with 659 runs at an average of 54.91 and a pulsating strike-rate of 158.41.
The Indian opening batsman has been named the skipper of KXIP for IPL 2020, after R Ashwin the franchise’s skipper for two years was traded to Delhi Capitals. A challenge would certainly lie ahead for this talented batsman but he has never shied away from a challenge and has enthralled audiences with his brand of stroke play and would like to continue in that vein in IPL 2020.
3. Virat Kohli (C)
At No.3 will be Virat Kohli. He was the sole player to be retained by the franchise in the 2011 auctions and Kohli responded with 557 runs in the season and was soon fast-tracked to the captaincy post after Daniel Vettori retired.
After a few indifferent seasons, in which he scored 165 and 246 respectively, Kohli came into his own as he crossed the 300-run barrier for the first time (307 runs) in 2010 edition of the IPL. However, Kohli’s finest hour arrived in the 2016 edition where he racked up 973 runs glittered with four awe-inspiring hundreds.
Virat Kohli couldn’t lay his hands on the coveted trophy as yet as skipper for RCB, but a large proportion of the massive adulation and fame he receives even now for RCB is something he is very aware of. He seemed optimistic with the squad that he’s got for IPL 2020. All the RCB fans would hope Kohli repeats his IPL 2016 heroics next season as well and definitely they would want him to win the trophy this time.
4. AB De Villiers (VC)
At No.4 comes, Mr 360, AB de Villiers. With an inherent ability to play shots all around the ground, De Villiers on his day can reduce the bowlers to a mere machine. He can play both, the role of a power hitter as well as of a sheet anchor as and when the situation demands.
AB de Villiers, also a former South Africa batsman, possesses hard hitting skills. Moreover, he is more than decent wicket-keeper and an agile fielder that can put an acrobat to shame on the cricket field. On a good day, AB can single handedly win you matches. He can switch from classical batting to playing more innovative strokes and that sets him apart from most Proteas batsmen.
For RCB, ABD has had many an eye catching innings, even picking up an award for the most power packed knock in the 2012 IPL for his assault on Dale Steyn. He has been a finisher par excellence, hitting a sublime hundred in Mumbai in 2015 and another in Bengaluru against Gujarat Lions in 2016. With Virat Kohli, AB has posted five 100+ partnerships for RCB and two 200+ partnerships, the only pair in the world to post two such partnerships. He made 687 runs in the 2016, finishing third on the runs chart.
5. Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has played 16 matches for RCB scoring 297 runs. The left-handed batsman has scored runs at a strike-rate of more than 168 last season. The off-spinner also contributed with the ball by picking six wickets. A versatile left-handed batsman and an aggressive off break bowler, Moeen Ali was bought by the RCB at the IPL 2018 Player Auction. Touted as England’s No.1 spinner in Test matches at home along his fluent stroke play, Moeen Ali is one of the valuable players in the English setup.
Moeen Ali’s quality off break bowling was at display against India in 2014, when the spinner picked up 19 wickets in the series. In the shorter forms, Moeen has more or less been a handy player always, irrespective of the conditions. Come the 12th edition of the league, Moeen is all set to flaunt the RCB jersey and contribute with his all-round abilities.
6. Shane Watson
One of the best all-rounders in the history of T20 cricket, Shane Watson will fulfill the duties of a genuine all-rounder. He has the ability to consistently bowl as well. The Queenslander has a penchant to hit big shots. Watson, who played for the franchise in 2016 and 2017, gives a much-needed balance to the squad.
Watson was a part of the Rajasthan Royals since the inaugural season, in 2008. That IPL season also helped him make an improbable comeback to international cricket. After being sidelined due to injuries, Watson decided to join the Royals and emerged as the Player of the Tournament in the first edition of the tournament. In the 2016 edition of the league, Watto was bought by RCB. He had two pretty successful and productive seasons for Virat Kohli led RCB before being bought by CSK in the IPL 2018 auctions.
An attacking batsman with a solid defence and an athletic fielder and a medium-pacer, he can swing the ball and pick up useful wickets. The all-rounder has always played a crucial role in his IPL team’s fortunes, be it for RR or RCB.
7. Parthiv Patel (wk)
This wicketkeeper-batsman first came into prominence when he made his Test debut against England at the age of 17 back in 2002. Since then, he has regularly been in contention for a spot in the Indian team. Parthiv was signed by the Chennai Super Kings for the first three seasons of the IPL. Then he moved to Kochi Tuskers Kerala before being bought by the Deccan Chargers at the IPL Player Auction 2012.
In the 2014 IPL Player Auction, he was purchased by RCB. The Bangalore-based team traded him to Mumbai Indians ahead of IPL 2015. At the IPL 2018 Player Auction, RCB again went on to bid for him and bought him in their squad for the eleventh edition of the league. He will be the wicket-keeper for RCB in the 12th edition of the tournament unless they decide to replace him with youngster Joshua Phillipe.
8. Yuzvendra Chahal
Team India’s permanent wrist spinner in the limited overs formats, Yuzvendra Chahal’s became the first Indian bowler to have picked up a five-wicket haul in T20Is. The spinner from Haryana, Chahal first attracted attention when he took 34 wickets in the National Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy in 2009, ending the tournament as its leading wicket-taker.
He became a part of the Mumbai Indians Squad in 2011 and was a part of it in the Champions League T20 as well. Chahal, who has been a part of RCB since 2014, went on to take 23 and 21 wickets in the 2015 and 2016 season of the league. With his knack of picking wickets at regular intervals, Chahal made his debut for Team India that toured Zimbabwe in 2016 and was later given an opportunity against England in the T20Is, which he grabbed to the fullest.
He has since gone on to establish himself as a bowler who beats the batsman with his variations and is Virat Kohli’s go-to-man in the limited overs cricket. A match-winner on his day, Chahal was retained by the RCB by virtue of their Right To Match card. Chahal has grown by leaps and bounds as a wrist-spinner in the past two seasons.
While bowling on a small ground, Chahal’s strength lies in tossing the ball up whilst inviting the batsmen to go for the big shots. In 70 IPL matches, Chahal has claimed 82 wickets at an average of 23.56.
9. Sreenath Aravind
Following an impressive domestic record, Sreenath Aravind earned his maiden IPL contract by RCB in 2011. Aravind played 14 games for RCB and picked up 14 wickets which included a 4-wicket haul. He may not be a big name in world cricket, but Aravind chipped in with some consistent performances for RCB during his stay with the franchise.
Aravind, whose base price was Rs 50 lakh went unsold in the 2018 IPL auction. Since then RCB have groomed Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj along with Umesh Yadav. With the experience of Dale Steyn in their ranks for IPL 2020. they would look to put on a good performance for their team and fans. While he was playing for RCB, Aravind was impressive and deserved more opportunities.
10. Umesh Yadav
Popularly known as the ‘Strongman’ in the Indian dressing room, Umesh Yadav is an extremely tough built guy with supreme fitness. Son of a coal miner, Umesh actively pursued joining the police forces before turning to cricket in an attempt to make ends meet. He can clock speeds in the high 140s and swing it at the same time. He already has more than 100 ODI wickets and a cumulative of 200+ wickets for India across all formats. After having represented DD and KKR in the IPL, Umesh is with RCB since 2018.
In IPL 2018, Umesh took 20 wickets for RCB in 14 matches, with a bowling average of 20.9, and an economy rate of 7.86. In 2019, he played 10 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) where he took eight wickets, averaging 40.62 and at an economy rate of 9.6. Going by his recent performances for India in Test matches, Yadav could well prove to be the game changer for Virat Kohli led RCB in IPL 2020.
11. Dale Steyn
The Steyn gun is all set to return to the Royal Challengers Bangalore after being released by them ahead of the players auction . Replacing injured Nathan Coulter Nile in the squad for RCB in 2019 , Dale Steyn donned the red and gold after his last outing in 2016. With a classic front-on action, furious pace to match it, and a clever mind to complement the robustness, Dale Steyn has been one of the most complete fast bowlers of his generation.
While his injuries have been a bane in his career over the past few years, his comeback has been nothing short of a fairy tale, wherein the speedster has been bowling at speeds of 140 kph. Steyn had been a key bowler for his franchises, churning out wonderful bowling spells, first with Bangalore and later for the Hyderabad franchise. He was also retained by the Hyderabad team during the 2014 auction, and later represented the Gujarat Lions in the 2016 edition of the season. With a total of 92 wickets in the IPL, the Steyn gun is all geared up to add more wickets to his tally and Play Bold.
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